St Andrews-Erskine Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 09190 87580, map


Address

Queen Anne Street
Dunfermline
Fife
KY12 7QA
Scotland

Also known as:

  • St. Andrew's-Erskine Church (1974)
    Renamed after a union with the congregation from St. Andrews Church (site no. 8412).
  • Erskine Church (1942)
    Renamed after a union with the congregation from Chalmers Street Parish Church (site no. 10601).
  • Queen Anne Street Parish Church (1929 uncertified)
  • United Presbyterian Church (1847)
  • Burgher Kirk (1798)

Introduction

This large rectangular building in the centre of Dunfermline  was constructed as a Burgher Church in 1798-1800.   It is situated in a raised paved precinct surrounded by stepped coped walls surmounted by iron railings.   Entry to the precinct is on the southern side by a flight of steps, at the top of which is a statue dated 1879 of the Rev. Ralph Erskine who was the minister of the first Secession Church in Dunfermline, which was situated slightly south of this church building;    the statue marks the approximate location of the earlier church (site no. 10594),  established by the Rev. Ralph Erskine in the early 1740s.   A break away occurred in the mid 1820s when some members of the congregation left this church to establish St. Margaret's Parish Church in East Port (site no. 10425).   The church building went out of ecclesiastical use in 1998 and the building was sold.   The congregation from this church moved to the new St. Andrew's Erskine Parish Church at Robertson Road (site no. 10609), built in 2003-4.


Description (exterior)

The walls of the church are of coursed sandstone, and the roof of slate.  An ashlar - organ chamber was added to the southern elevation.

Projecting from the centre of the south wall (principal) is a two-storey bay added in 1897-99.    The porch projects further than the upper stage (organ chamber),  and is rounded at the corners.    There is a round arched doorway set in the centre of the porch containing a square headed two leaf timber door with a fan light above. The edges of the porch are curved and set in these curved bays are broad arched windows with coloured glass panes.   The returns on the east and west of the porch are both divided into two bays by projecting piers topped with carved urn finials.   The outer bays on each side are the same, each containing a broad arched window but the inner bays on each side differ; on the eastern side there is a square headed door at the top of a small flight of steps whilst on the western side there is a broad arched window.

The upper storey housing the organ chamber is divided into three bays on its principal face by four pilasters, in each of which there is a square headed window. The returns to the east and west are blank and the bays are surmounted by slate roofed pediments. On either side of the advanced bay are large round arched stained glass windows covered with metal grilles. At the outer edges of the wall (on both the west and east sides) there is a broad arched window at ground floor level and a round arched window for the upper floor. There is a later addition (1897-9) An octagonal vent with spire and metal finial in the centre of the roof was added in 1897-9.    In front of the south wall on the eastern side there is a weathered grave slab on a stone base.

Projecting from the centre of the west wall is a single storey flat roofed porch.which has a broad arched window on the western face and to the south, a square headed two leaf timber door with a fan light above.   On either side of this porch in the gable,  with a segmental broad arched window and similar windows above each of these at first floor level.   Between these two windows, above the porch, is a segmental round arched window. The gable is topped by pediment detail, in the centre of which there is a three light half roundel with stone mullions. There is a stone urn finial on the apex of the gable which may be a later addition.

The eastern side of the ground floor of the north elevation is obscured by the hall which was a added in 1871.    To the outer western edge there are two broad arch segmental head windows. In the upper floor of the elevation there are five windows, the outer four being the same as those on the lower floor whilst the central window is a round arched window.



Description (interior)


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Burgher ChurchDenomination1800-1820Original denomination of the church.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1929-1998Final denomination of the church.
David WhyteArchitect1798-1800Edinburgh architect - 19th C
Reverend Ralph ErskineFounder174Founder of the Secession Church Seceded from the established church in approximately 1740 and played a key role in the founding of the Secession Movement. Was the minister of the first Secession Church in Dunfermline, which preceded the present church on this site (site no. 10594).
United Secession ChurchDenomination1820-1847
United PresbyteriansDenomination1847-1900
United Free ChurchDenomination1900-1929

Events:

  • Church: Build/construction (1798 to 1800)
  • Monument: Build/construction (1849)
  • Hall: Build/construction (1871)
  • Church: Renovation (1897 to 1899)
    Interior recast. Reopened 12th February 1899.
  • Church: Build/construction (1897 to 1899)
    Addition of ashlar porch and organ chamber on southern elevation. Vent on roof also added.
  • Church: Closure (1998)
    The church closed for worship in 1998 and the congregation moved to a new site at Robertson Road (site no. 10609).

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 75845
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M008173
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 26035
Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland - Online databaseReference: 3086
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 46944
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 75846
Map Collections - Online databaseReference: John Wood, 1823 Plan of the Town of Dunfermline from actual survey.
Map Collections - Online databaseReference: John Wood, 1823 Plan of the Town of Dunfermline from actual survey.
Map Collections - Online databaseReference: Sheet 41854 Dunfermline Town Plan 1:1056.
Map Collections - Online databaseReference: XXXIX.5.11894 Dunfermline Town Plan 1:500.
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4684

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 186
The Scottish Burgh Survey: Historic Dunfermline, Archaeology and DevelopmentDennison, E.P;Stronach, S.2007p. 47
Dunfermline: The Post-War YearsMcEwan, B.2004p. 47